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Patchworking Network Structures

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In recent years, establishing successful collaborative arrangements and relationshipsbetween university, industry and public institutions has come to be seen as essential intransforming new scientific knowledge into new innovations and business ventures. Thefit between these very different actor groups has been treated as a contingent factor.However, little attention has been given to the managerial efforts that entrepreneurshave make to establish the fit between small firms, university research, and publicpolicies such as regulatory policies and R&D policies through network-type structures.New biotechnology organizations are perfect objects to study these relationshipsbecause new biotechnologies and techniques predominantly come from the universitysector (Kenney, 1986; Yoxen; 1984; Zucker & Darby, 1997; Robbins-Roth, 2001).From the perspective of the small biotechnology firms (SBFs,) this paper analyzes fourdifferent managerial strategies of how to create network structures to deal with theinterfaces between industry, university and public institutions. The research-orientedstrategy, the incubator strategy, the industrial-partnering strategy, and the policyorientedstrategy. The research-oriented strategy focuses narrowly on howbiotechnology firms transform scientific results into solid business plan or businessmodels revealing the aim of the technologies, services or products. The incubatorstrategy is concerned with localization and how to overcome specific types ofmanagerial problems in the initial stage of forming a business venture. The industrialpartneringstrategy is concerned with how to overcome the problem of bringing thetechnologies from an experimental stage at a research lab to be able to handle industrialprocesses and full-scale production. Last, but not least, the policy-oriented strategyfocuses on the problem of having products approved by the public authorities. The aimof the article is to demonstrate how SBFs over time develop network structures throughpatchwork-like activities, ongoing and overlapping activities, that serve as a blueprintfor the management

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Jesper Norus

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